PLANS to restore an historic landmark seaside attraction have been given approval, after it closed down in 2017.
The Leas Lift in Folkestone has been closed for six years now but is set to finally be given a renovation that will soon see it working once again.
The funicular lift connects the town to its seafront and has been in place for 138 years.
However, issues with its braking system forced it to close its doors in 2017.
An application for its repair and redevelopment from The Folkestone Leas Lift Company Charity, was granted permission by the Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s (FHDC) planning committee this week.
It will see the lift restored to its former glory, while an extension will host a new modern cafe, as well as an exhibition.
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The national lottery heritage fund will pay for the work which will see visitor facilities, including the waiting room and ticket office renovated as well,
The redevelopment also aims to improve disability access and public toilets, while making necessary changes to the surrounding pavement.
The disused second track will host solar panels.
This is not the first time the lift has needed to be refurbished, but there are hopes that it will be the last time.
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After previous breakdowns in the 60s, 80s and 2000s, the new renovations aim to make the lift sustainable for the future.
Kent Online report that Edwin Wealand, vice-chair of the board of trustees at the charity said at the planning meeting they hope to have the attraction up and running for the long term.
He said: “It is our firm intention that this need never happen again and the lift is put on a footing that makes it commercially and operationally sustainable in the long term, and not reliant on the goodwill of the people of Folkestone to resurrect it every 20 years.”
James Walker-Osborn, another trustee of the charity, added: “This is another milestone in this new chapter of the Leas Lift.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of the council with our future plans for this historic Folkestone landmark."
The lift is far from the only attraction for those visiting Folkestone, with some tourists saying the beach in the seaside town looks like it could be abroad.
Mermaid Beach is one such example, with one Tiktoker saying it made her feel like she wasn't in the UK.
Riya (@ri1ya) visited the resort for a staycation last summer and was blown away.
In a video, she described the destination as: "The one beach in the UK that had me feeling like I was abroad."
Leas promenade and Folkestone harbour high up on the list of things to see, while places like Terlingham vinyard and the Battle of Britain museum show there's plenty to do.
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